Blake Can Jump

In case you don’t follow sports, this happened this week:

Pretty cool, I guess.

Blake Griffin is a big man who can jump really high. A lot of people understand how this concept works. However, it’s rare that this concept works so very, very well when executed.

As well as there being a guy in the way, Blake’s head was at the rim. Sure, Blake is 6’10. He’s no shorty. But the rim is still 10 feet in the air. That means that he had to get AT LEAST three feet in the air.

Think about that. That’s a full yard. A man much larger than us jumped a full yard in the air.

Now the debate has started over whether Blake’s dunk was the greatest in-game dunk of all time. It’s hard to say, really. There are some great dunks to choose from.

Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Shaquille O’Neal

Some people say this was impressive. I just say Shaquille O’Neal is super fat.

Greatness Rating: 3
It’s really more impressive a guy his size can jump so well. And grab things. Things that aren’t cheeseburgers.

Clyde Drexler

Some people can jump really high. Some people, however, can stay in the air for a long time. There’s a difference. Somehow, someway, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was able to do what seemed like floating. The #1 dunk on this list is the primary example of that.

Greatness Rating: 6.
It’s impressive, sure. He just seems to float. But is it one of the best EVER? Probably not.

Tom Chambers:

This dunk is stupid. It’s like Tom Chambers was attached to strings and pulled up. The brain sees this dunk and thinks, “THAT isn’t what it looks like when you jump.” It isn’t supposed to make sense. It even seems like Tom didn’t know what to do when he got up there. He jumped, went too high, and had no choice but to finish with T-Rex arms.

Greatness Rating: 7.5
It is certainly great. No doubt. But the awkwardness takes away from it.

Scottie Pippen

Patrick Ewing was a phenomenal defensive force. But he played in the 90’s, an era where nobody remembers anything but the Chicago Bulls. And the Bulls? They were pretty good. They had a dude with a child’s name who came from Nowhere, Arkansas for the sole purpose of destroying Sir Ewing.

Greatness Rating: 8
Honestly, it’s hard to not give this a higher rating. But the Bulls had some other player who also liked to jump really high and embarrass Patrick Ewing….

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was alright. He had a bunch of plays in which he did cool stuff. But one time, he dribbled, and dribbled, and just kept dribbling in one spot until eventually he got tired and so he jumped into a 7-foot tall guy. And it was arguably his best in-game dunk.

Greatness Rating: 8.5
This gets rated higher than Pippen because there was no buildup to it. It shouldn’t have happened. But it did. Pippen had the momentum of a fast break. Jordan had the momentum of being stuck in a corner. It doesn’t make sense. But the New York Knicks did still get their revenge through a man named….

John Starks

John Starks’ story is great. The man was working as a grocery bag boy while trying to get an NBA tryout. The Knicks took a chance on him, and he paid off by cutting Patrick Ewing’s coupons for several years.

Greatness Rating: 8.5
Why does this one get the same as an MJ highlight? Mainly because Starks was shorter than Jordan or Pippen (listed at 6’5, but really no more than 6’3), and also because Jordan was in the highlight….on the other end of the dunk, though.

Julius Erving

Dr. J and David Thompson invented the ability to jump. It’s a fact. Before those two, the NBA was a bunch of dudes shooting hook shots. This dunk is great, because who actually thinks, “Hey, I’m going to cradle the ball while running full speed and rock it like it’s a child? Then I’ll slam it through a hoop, like it is NOT a child.” Also, the VIDEO is great for SO MANY REASONS. The music! The hair! The laugh of that bearded guy! So good.

Greatness Rating: 9
I may be accused of bias here, as Dr. J is my favorite player of all time, but let’s be honest: this dunk is amazing because nobody had ever done anything like it before.

Vince Carter

Vince Carter is 6’6. Frederic Weis is 7 feet tall. Vince Carter is 6’6. Frederic Weis is 7′. Do you understand? Sure, it happened in the Olympics….BUT WHO CARES.

Greatness Rating: 10
Not only did he jump over a man, he ended the man’s career. Weis had been drafted to the NBA previous to those Olympics. He never played an NBA game after this happened. No kidding. Also, if you don’t mind the language, it’s the basis behind my favorite YouTube video ever.

It should be noted though, that Blake didn’t really grab the hold of the rim in his dunk, so therefore some people (because people are awful and cynical and hate to see awesome things happen) claim that it isn’t technically a dunk. In that case, Blake threw down the greatest jump shot ever. Either way, it’s awesome. But it’s not the greatest play in NBA history. We all know what that is.

What is your verdict? Did Blake actually dunk? Where does this Blake Griffin dunk rank amongst the Greatest? Any other dunks you want to mention?


14 thoughts on “Blake Can Jump

  1. I was going to write something intelligent about how the dunking game has evolved so much that the vintage clips don’t really do it for me, but then I watched them. Of the clips listed, I’m giving the prize to His Airness. He still is the greatness, even though I love watching Griffin throw it down- he is a freakin’ beast, no question. Honorable mention- the Starks clip was fairly nasty, a) because he pretty much owned the entire Bulls defense in that play, and b) because he was the shortest man on the floor.

    1. See, vintage clips will ALWAYS be my favorite. I love anything retro, and let’s not forget that the old NBA was a much more competitive league. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t.

      Yes, the Starks play is great. First, the defender falls down, then the dunks on two other defenders. Amazing. And I didn’t realize he was listed at 6’5. I just always assumed he was 6’2. I was actually shocked they tried to list him as that tall.

      Then again, I could easily get listed at 6’5 if I played on a team, if not more.

      1. Yeah, I hesitated to say he was the shortest on the floor. I’m pretty sure BJ Armstrong, who was the first defeneder who got crossed up, was shorter. But his shortness is definitely exaggerated when he’s dunking over Chicago’s big men. That dude was legend. Not quite Muggsy- but I mean who is?

        1. EARL BOYKINS! He played college basketball twenty miles down the road from me. Not that I was actually aware of his career as it was happening or anything, but…still. Mitten proud.

          That said, I’m not sure EMU basketball has been any good since then.

        2. Yeah, EMU REALLY hasn’t. Much in the same way that I still insist Colorado’s entire athletic program consisted of Chauncey Billups and Kordell Stewart and nobody else.

          Sorry to mention Kordell, Burrill.

        3. Eh, I can handle a Kordell reference. I think it’s really bad for those who actually watched it live. I don’t have that sort of memory of it — I wasn’t paying as much attention to college sports back then. (As I recall, I was enthralled with Barry Sanders at the time. This was understandable, since he did things that shouldn’t even be physically possible. I’m still not 100% certain he actually existed.)

  2. I don’t mind the language of that video. If I could have a theme song for life…

    also, I feel very educated about stuff now. My NBA knowledge consists of Space Jam.

    1. Yeah, it’s quite literally my single favorite YouTube video ever. Easily.

      Glad I could help. I sit around in my free time reading books about basketball because I am uncultured and don’t have friends.

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